An Ocean View

Leaving my 9-5 programming job and moving to a desk-free, “digital nomad” lifestyle has been the most amazing journey of my life. I’ve had the chance to take in new experiences, meet new people, and see some pretty amazing things, but it wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t in front of the computer now and then, looking for projects and plugging away at a bit of code. Read More →

Home Office

I’ve been on the road a lot, and it’s not always easy to work in cafes as you dream it will be. There’s that whole having to pay for more coffee when you don’t want another one (to avoid getting kicked out) thing- and after a while, the stiff chairs and lack of power outlets isn’t a huge plus. Read More →

Staring at a Screen

How long have you been sat there before you came across this article? The truth is that most of us spend way too much time staring at our screens all day.

The harsh truth is that even though we love our screens for work, TV, and just messing around on the internet, we have to take steps to make sure we don’t overdo it. Read More →

There are a number of ways that technology has changed everything that comes with doing business. It does not matter whether you are running a fortune 500 company or are an entrepreneur who has entered the murky waters of the business world. As it is, technology has been proven to be one of the drivers of successful business, irrespective of whether they are SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises) or multinationals. It is for this reason that business dynamics has drastically changed; including, how payments are made, transactions affected, and marketing strategies implemented. With a click of the mouse, you get everything done in micro seconds. Since the advent of the internet, the world has become more of a global village. Depending on the goods and services you are selling, you can have customers from anywhere in the world.

It is a fact that for a business to survive it must change with drivers of the industry. Since technology is fundamental in a number of ways, it makes it possible for companies to organize their data. In fact, with real-time data, companies are able to market their products to potential customers. Overall services will be delivered to a number of people across the world in real-time too.

If you do not have relevant information about your business or industry you will find it pretty difficult to keep up with cut-throat competition. In other words, your company will lag behind as the management will not have solid information to make progress. On the other hand, with a solid structure in place on gathering information and analyzing it, you will have an edge in the industry within which your operate. You do not need to worry about delays in payments as there are eWallets that you can bank on for swift payments, done any time.

There are innumerable internet marketing tools that you can use to change your company fortunes. However, you should only select those that can add value and enhance productivity. Note that not all of the tools will come in handy for your business, and if you have no idea on how to choose the correct one you should consult marketing experts.

Presently, the internet is a gold mine and if you can use customer-centric tools and take advantage of cloud computing you will reap the full benefits. Nevertheless, you need to work pretty hard to start seeing positive results. You cannot expect to create a website and assume customers will come running after you. It is essential to understand all things to do with SEO and social media campaigns. If you can have these done by professionals like a Mountain Brook SEO services company, then you can expect to see changes in revenue in a short period of time.

It is important to have a mobile site, use versatile marketing tools to get correct metrics, and use only but white hat SEO techniques if you want 1st Page ranking in search engines. There is no better way to market your products than with the use of technology. If you happen to partner with experts who understand the correct internet marketing tools, you will be smiling all the way to the bank.

At University all engineering students shared a common first year. We all took 101 level:

  • Calculus
  • Physics
  • Communication
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science and
  • A hands-on Laboratory class.

I always loved the lab because you would see the science at work in a real situation. I still remember it today that my favorite lab was one about fluid flow in pipes. You’d add some energy to the flow with a pump and measure the height the water could flow up to depending on how much energy you added to it. Fluid flow in pipes is quite simple, really. And this past weekend when I was out looking for a pressure washer it made me reminisce back to that lab because a pressure washer is just adding some energy to water to make it useful. For example, to clean surfaces – removing dirt and grime…

….So I wanted to write a post about my favorite 2 simple yet useful technologies for use around your home. They are: A pressure washer and a vacuum cleaner. I won’t go into too much detail about the engineering how each works but I just wanted to marvel at their wondrous simplicity and usefulness.

Pressure Cleaner

Of the 3 technologies in today’s post, I would guess the lowest percentage own a pressure washer. But I just bought one and let me tell you: they are amazing.

Here’s the deal:

You can get an electric pressure washer for about $150. An electric is what I bought. You plug it into your normal electric outlet and that powers a motor which powers a pump that adds enough energy to blast surface clean. All you do is plug it to the outlet for electricity and hook up your garden hose for water.

If you’re after more power you can get a gas power washer which is more expensive at around $400. With a gas unit you get more power, durability and noise. Because it has all the moving components of an internal combustion engine it will also require more maintenance.

The concept is so simple: Add energy to water to make it useful. I’m surprised it took me so long to start using one.

Vacuum Cleaner

I’m guessing you own a vacuum? But how often have you thought about how it works? Probably never. Well it works on the same principles as fluid flowing through a pipe, just like my favorite lab in first year University. Air is a fluid for all intensive purposes. And a vacuum cleaner uses an electric motor to turn a fan to pull air from the room through its intake port where the rotating brush is. As it pulls this air it pulls all the dirt from the carpet into its dust bag.

That’s it.

So with a pressure washer you push water through a hose and with a vacuum cleaner you pull air through a hose. Pretty amazing how simple it is when you break it down, hey? And a vacuum cleaner is considered a household essential – just like a fridge. Pretty cool.

Wrap-Up

It’s amazing how two seemingly different pieces of equipment work on the same principles of science. And funnily enough both are used to clean stuff.

Ants

The most common kind of pest problem is ants. Often when you’re working, you are going to get bits of food or drink spilled onto your computer. And for pests this is food, that they will come in search of. Ants are one of the most common pests in houses and unfortunately if they arrive they will generally arrive in large numbers. Some types of ants can even chew things to reach what they after. So the lesson here is to keep your computer area as free from food and drink spillages as you possibly can, and clean up if there is a spill. Air canisters are good for keeping the computer clean. If you have a consistent problem you could buy some ant powder or traps to keep the ants away.

Cockroaches

Even worse than ants are cockroaches, a particularly unpleasant pest that can get into your computer through small holes and quickly breed when they get inside. They can quickly cause damage due to parts overheating or from them chewing through wires. To get rid of them you’ll likely need to take the computer apart and give it a very good clean and dispose of all the cockroaches. They will be attracted by dirt and food, so again try to keep your computer as clean as possible. And if the problem continues you could buy some cockroach traps. It is likely other parts of your house will be contaminated as well so you may need to bring in a pest controller to sort the problem out.

Rodents

Onto larger sized pests – mice and rats. These are not only larger physically but will cause a larger problem, mainly because of their chewing. They love to build nests and will chew at anything to create one. There are plenty of measures that you can take to get rid of mice and rats including putting down traps.
Humane traps are the nicest ways to catch mice. You bait these plastic tunnels and then the mice gets trapped in them. You can then release the mice into the wild – but make sure you do it a fair distance from your house or they will come right back in!

The next type are the snap traps that you will find everywhere, and put some bait on them. These are effective but it’s not very pleasant to come down in the morning to see the mess that they have made of the rodent.
The next type are the sticky traps. The rodents will walk on them and then be unable to escape. These are effective but they don’t kill the rodent and you will have to do this yourself which won’t be very pleasant.
An even better type of trap are the electronic kind. The mouse is attracted into a tunnel where they trip a switch that electrocutes them. It’s a much less messy and more humane way to kill them.

Or if you don’t want to bother with any of this, you could get a pest controller in to sort the problem out.

Hope you never have a problem with pests in your computer, but if you do hopefully this advice will help you out.

It was a couple of years ago when Edward Snowden leaked information about how the NSA spied and collected information on millions of people around the globe. One of the major companies who were subject to this attack was Apple. However, since Snowden decided to leak information slowly rather than in one giant dump, some details about the security compromise are only starting to arise now. So, how deep does the leak actually go when it comes down to it? Well, here are some of the details you might want to know about how far the CIA’s hands got into the honeypot.

The Hack can possibly go very deep

One of the scariest revelations about the CIA’s attempts at cracking Apple’s firmware is that they’ve created an alternate version of the software. It was designed to provide a backdoor for developers, one that allowed them to install and upload surveillance malware. The Keylogger program is particularly invasive as it logs and sends out all key taps made targeting software that has a lot to do with your personal information.

Why does the CIA do this?

Apple has a huge chunk of the mobile and computer industry. When they announce a new product, usually people are incredibly excited and line up around the block to have the chance to buy an iPhone. It comes as no surprise that they would spend millions improving encryption technology and online security. The CIA is an intelligence agency whose sole purpose is to find new ways to exploit possible bugs and leaks. The simple logic behind the hacks is that if they can find an opening within Apples products, the easier it would be to target persons of interest, or to gather intelligence on a massive scale. Another sinister purpose would be to exploit these holes in order to gather trade and private information from high-level staff in these companies.

The development of new security cracking technology

Ultimately, software constantly grows, which means security methods have to keep up, which also causes hackers to up their game. The CIA follows these trends closely, and often employs methods of their own in order to find compromises in every large software company. The truth here is that Apple isn’t the only software company that has been subject to CIA hacking.

What does this mean for you?

Any attempt made by major governments to hack a company is not usually targeted at the common user. These programs are designed to hit major governments, insurgents, security threats, and sometimes, big companies.

Ultimately, the average users will not be under threat of attack or leakage, like when they search reviews for the best jogging stroller from this site or a t double jogging stroller from here. However, it would still be prudent to keep reading on these issues closely. This way, you are aware if your information could be subject to real compromising issues.

The evolution of mobile technology has allowed me to live a life that I could only dream of years ago. Being a computer engineer it is important that I have access to powerful tools which require advanced hardware and fast network connections. When I started working this was only available at my desktop workstation, but now I can work efficiently from anywhere in the world. In this article I am going to discuss my favorite technological tools that allow me to travel anywhere I would like, without being more than a short walk to a powerful workstation.

The first and foremost advance is the exponential increase in mobile processing power while simultaneously reducing power consumption. It is amazing what Intel has been able to pack into their mobile processors, supplying incredible computing power without quickly draining your battery. This is important in my field as much advanced modeling and calculating is required which would have taken forever to complete on older laptops. Now I can work without any delays due to processing speed with my Dell Precision laptop. Not only has this been great for work, but when I am out and about I like to be able to play games too. This again was not an option on older machines and gaming engines, but this laptop can now play the latest of games with brilliant graphics and performance. This has made my League of Legends experience incredible, and also allowed me to earn extra money on the road doing elo boosting at eloboosted.com.

None of this would be possible in locations that I like to travel to due to the lack of WIFI hotspots available. It is much more enjoyable to sit outside and work or play games, but this would be impossible without a quick internet connection. My Verizon 4G connection provides an average of 5-12 Mbps download speed and 3-4 Mbps upload speed which is more than enough to enjoy games and videos while on the road. It is pretty amazing that I can be sitting outside on the patio overlooking the water and experiencing the same connectivity as I would by being wired into a network connection.

The last piece of the puzzle which I am still working on is my blog, which I enjoy so much. While I am traveling the last thing I want to do is worry about if my website is safe and up to date. Especially when I need to spend time working on projects for clients. Fortunately, I have been working with the WordPress support professionals at Bairkan to help me manage and maintain my blog. They use software and technology specifically designed to keep my website secure, updated and always backed up to the Amazon cloud. I can sleep easy at night knowing that this is all automatically taken care of for me without having to lift a finger.

This entire lifestyle of being able to work from wherever I would like and travel is something that I have always dreamed of being able to do. And these great technologies and services have enabled me to fulfill these desires.

If you hadn’t realized it by now from reading this blog, I’m a big fan of Rebel Mouse. I’m on Rebel Mouse more than I’m on Twitter, which is saying a lot. I was actually asked the question of whether I think Rebel Mouse has the power to replace Twitter, which is an interesting question. The simple answer, is no, and by no I mean it has no chance whatsoever. But the more complicated answer is that it certainly has the power of taking some of the users away from Twitter.

To show how that is even possible, I’ll show you some examples, and I will also show you how a website which talks about anti aging is using both these social media platforms incredibly well. This is a great example I think, as it shows the extend companies are going to stay ahead in a very competitive industry like anti wrinkle creams and products.

The most interesting aspect of social media, is that you can make seemingly boring topics into something really interesting. Just look at the debate lately on what color the dress was. Who really cares? Well a lot of people apparently.

We found a review of LifeCell anti aging cream, which is interesting enough, but nothing special. But the way they made this more interesting, is by adding celebrity endorsements. This is an amazing way to increase social exposure as everyone loves celebrities. This has caused a simple review of an anti aging product to go viral using rebelmouse.com. I find developments like this fascinating, and that’s the reason I think twitter is at risk from all these new social media platforms.

But then again, Twitter is just too big to ever go away forever. Twitter has millions of users around the world, constantly tweeting each other. It’s a social network with a great following and, talking from experience unfortunately, plenty of Twitter addicts.

To show what the power of a tweet can do, look at the same Twitter profile for this anti-aging product. Again they used celebrity endorsements, and received the same result as we described earlier, just a lot more effective. Thus the secret is not to think of social media platforms as separate websites, but as an arsenal in your tool box. In other words, don’t just use one social media website, but use as many as you can. That way, you’re more likely to be able to go viral with your new posts and you’ll increase your exposure. They could have made it even more powerful if they added a Facebook account. In fact, you’ll see big companies do this all the time, they have so many social properties, that whatever social website you use, you’re likely to see their marketing at some point. This is the real key to social marketing.

I hope that answers a lot of the question you had, and hopefully this post has given you a bigger insight in where the social world is heading right now. In my humble opinion, if you’re in the technology sector, you should be aware of any changes in the social media world, as this is the single biggest factor in technological change right now.

Rice cookers have evolved from the basic electric type to the most sophisticated models using high technology aiming to improve the taste of rice and not just cook it. Toshiba in Japan made the first model of rice cooker in 1955, while other companies started making their versions, adding more feature and innovation to extend the abilities of the kitchen appliance. You can now find microwave rice cookers, gas rice cookers, models that use induction heating and the fuzzy logic technology.

What is Fuzzy Logic Technology?

The term fuzzy logic refers to a many-valued logic, meaning, there are more than two possible values (true and false) for a given proposition. This is applied to different fields, and the Japanese were among the first to use it for practical applications. They used it on their first high-speed train, in pocket computers, even for automobiles. It is also utilized in home appliances such as washing machines that feature single-button control or vacuum cleaners that recognize degree of soiling or surface condition. Basic rice cookers operate single-mindedly, or in a mechanical manner. They cook rice at a specified time or keep it warm and that’s it. Fuzzy logic technology on the other hand, has made it possible for the appliance to be placed in various settings and offer more options to users.

How Does this Technology Improve Rice Cookers?

Certainly, fuzzy logic technology has greatly improved the versatility of the small kitchen appliance. Rice cookers that use this technology are created with computer chips that make it possible to do various adjustments, from temperature, time settings, and rice variety. Mathematical programming enables delivery of a range of cooking options. The appliance is able to react and do the task that he has to do. It is capable of coming up with precise adjustments.

This technology has made it possible to cook different variations of rice properly. In basic rice cookers, users only adjust the amount of water depending on the type of rice to be cooked. With the fuzzy logic technology, there’s no need for guesswork. The kitchen appliance can be set according to the type of rice being cooked, as well as the level of temperature. For instance, users can make sure that brown rice does not turn out mushy by setting the cooker in low temperature at extended cooking time. Cooking sushi rice also becomes easier and more precise, since some cookers feature a mode for making sushi rice.

Fuzzy logic rice cookers also operate under a basic model’s premise. It is their mathematical programming that delivers customized rice cooking options, making precise changes in cooking temperature and time based on the setting selected. Quick-cook cycle and keep-warm options become possible. This technology is a great help for homemakers since cooking rice becomes easier. However, fuzzy logic rice cookers are not the most sophisticated cookers you can see in the market. Manufacturers are continually developing the appliance, making for other systems to exist, such as the induction-heating models. Consumers can now choose the best rice cooker by visiting www.homecentric.org. In addition, the rice cooker reviews in this page can be of great help.

Facebook has been around for a long time. In fact it’s been around so long it’s making me feel old! For everyone out there using social media to promote their businesses, it’s important to know where to focus your attention on. For example, should you post to Facebook everyday, or should you use Twitter, or both? When looking at the ever growing list of new social media platforms, it gets even more confusing. Seriously, which social media accounts should we use to get the maximum amount of exposure for the least amount of effort? In this post I’ll explore the best practice and give you the answer to the question of where to spend your time online.

Biggest social network to use

Before we look at any new platforms, let’s not forget that despite its age, Facebook is still the leader. With close to 890 million daily users on average, it remains the best place to get exposure to your blog, business or yourself. In my humble opinion it’s also the most fun. I personally can’t not use FB every single day and I know a lot of my colleagues feel the same way. That kind of addiction to a website is important when you’re looking to spread your message.

While I’m always on the lookout for new innovative social platforms, Facebook just can’t be ignored. Before we move on to look at some newer websites, I want to give a very quick overview on how to use Facebook for your business or personal brand. There’s two way to do this really. You can post messages and interact with friends through your personal profile, or set up a page for your business or organisation. This psychic reading Facebook page does a very effective job at communicating with it’s audience. It’s definitely worth studying how they set up their profile.

What’s the next best thing?

The second biggest social network is Twitter, however I have never really liked it. I know a lot of people are crazy about Twitter, but the thing is, I have never been able to really make it work for me. There’s plenty of alternatives such as Pinterest, myspace, google plus, and many more. I estimate that there are about 400 social networking sites out there right now. Which is insane, and clearly you can’t actively use all of them. This brings me to my next point, which is what new platform you need to be using.

I recently discovered a website called Pearltrees which is a content curation site. It is still classified as a social network, but it makes it easier to pick what you like from the internet and put it all on one simple to read page. I absolutely love using this website. I’m currently experimenting on how to use it for branding and promotional purposes. It’s certainly an interesting dilemma – do I use it just for personal use or do I add my business activities to my profile. An interesting way is to separate the two and build up a business page in addition to a personal page. You can see an interesting example of how this tarot reading service used this social platform: http://www.pearltrees.com/onlinetarotandpsychics

Hopefully this article has given you some great ideas to boost your social presence on the internet.

It’s weird how the internet can change so fast. Only ten short years ago, Facebook was barely in its infancy, and most regular people had never heard of the term ‘social networking’. Google only rose to prominence about 15 years ago – I can still remember a time when Yahoo was my go-to search engine.

I feel like the rapidly changing landscape of the web (or information super highway, as it was once commonly called) has made nostalgia set in faster and faster in the younger generations. Gone are the days when 80-year-olds would reminisce about the ‘good old days’ – now you have 25-, or 30-year-olds waxing philosophical about how things were when they were 15. I myself suffer from this problem – while the web is definitely constantly improving in terms of UI and usability, a small part of me reminisces about the good old days of god awful Geocities sites, poor html scripting and hilariously moronic chain letters.

So for today’s blog post, we’re going to get into an imaginary time machine and revisit some of the greatest things about the internet of the ye olde days.

Geocities Sites

At one point, Geocities was the place to go if you wanted to start your own website – it was a free platform where you could put up a website about pretty much anything you wanted. Geocities was unfortunately shut down in 2009, but there are still a few sites out there that are alive and well that typify the absurdly awful UI of this bygone era.

Here’s a Gizmodo article about these kinds of sites.

Here’s a two of my favorites:

Space Jam website

This is the actual website for the movie Space Jam (an absolute classic). I mean, I understand the lack of video – the internet back then wasn’t fast enough to handle it – but even just the design of the website is hilariously bad. Why is there no picture of the cast? Surely Michael Jordan deserves to have his face on the website of his movie. What’s up with the weird repeating background image – I understand the movie has aliens in it, but just from a pure aesthetics point of view, the website would probably look 10x better if the background was just black.

And then there’s this abomination.

I’m pretty sure that anybody with epilepsy would instantly get their brain exploded just by looking at this site. OK – it’s a site about 3D stuff animation or something, but that doesn’t mean that the ENTIRE SITE needs to be a gif of some 3D thing spinning around in a never ending loop. It’s as if for the first 10 years of the internet, people just collectively agreed that terrible design was OK as long as it was online. Even back then, there were ways to make a site that looked reasonably good – but nope, this guy just loves his gifs of spinning 3D models, so he just put them everywhere on the site.

There’s tons more stuff like this in the gizmodo article, and it’s really fun/funny/nostalgic to check out these relics of the web.

HTML Frames
As someone who works in the Tech industry, I can safely say to you that HTML frames were the bane of anybody working in web design in the 90s/early 2000s. For those of you who’re uninitiated/born after 1990, frames were basically a way of putting pages of a website within other pages of a website – a bit like a human centipede of webpages, all linked together via the nether regions. Working with them was a nightmare, and navigating within them was equally difficult. On the plus side, frames are probably where the whole concept of a ‘sidebar’ comes from, and we all know how popular sidebars are these days.

Chain Letters

I remember when I was younger I used to get these absurdly spammy emails from my friends that said stuff along the lines of

“My name is Jenny Macarthur and I died becoz I didn’t fwd this email to 10 other ppl. If you dun fwd this mail to 10 other ppl, you will be cursed and sth bad will happen to you at 12:00am tnite. If you fwd to 10 ppl, sth great will happen to you tmrw. Here’s some proof:”

The email would then go on to list the good things that happened to all the ‘people’ that fwded the email on to ten people. Common scenarios included people getting dream jobs, finding the love of their lives, or winning the lottery. It was a weird time – along with our reduced design sensibilities, it was as if we collectively forgot that lying was possible via electronic communication. Either that, or I just had really dumb friends.

On the other hand, once in a while, a solid, genuinely well written chain mail would end up in your inbox. They highlighted a few of these ‘scary chain mails’ at Play With Death (a great site for wasting time if you like reading about scary news and urban legends and stuff).

Anyways, hopefully you got a few laughs out of our brief journey back in time. Back to boring, useful tech articles in the next post.

Last week, I had a friend over for dinner. A professional welder at present, he was growing bored and felt that he had more potential which was being wasted at his present job. He had come to me for advice seeing as I was faring reasonably well as a self-employed engineer. I have been asked for career advice before so I wasn’t at all taken aback. What I judged from his discourse was that he wanted a job that a) paid well and b) had thrill in it, while also utilizing his experience and skill as a professional welder. After some research from www.weldingauthority.org, I came to the conclusion that underwater welding was the perfect career specialization for my friend. In fact, it is such an interesting field that I’d like to share it here, too, for those looking for a thrilling career.

Underwater welding, more technically called hyperbaric welding, is welding performed at high pressures i.e. underwater. There are two broad categories of hyperbaric welding – wet in which the welder does his job directly in the water or dry where the welder performs his task in a special positive pressure enclosure which is dry. Even though both types of welding take place underwater, the former is typically called underwater welding whereas as the latter is referred to as hyperbaric welding. This specialization of welding has a diverse range of applications such as offshore oil rigs, ship repair and underwater pipeline maintenance. You can see where the adventure comes into this field – working underwater fixing heavy duty equipment using specialized devices and tools makes this one of the most elite and thrilling welding ventures – and my friend, incidentally, was in complete agreement.

Most of the tasks that an underwater welder performs involve work leading up to and following the actual welding process. Normally, the welder-diver must be a certified welder as well as a commercial diver. Those who are already professional welders are required to attend recognized commercial diving schools to learn the specialized underwater welding and diving techniques and their welder-diver career starts in apprenticeship which usually takes no more than a couple of years. Once you have achieved the necessary skill level in dry and/or wet underwater welding and passed the qualification tests, you’ll receive your certification as per Underwater Welding Code detailed in AWS D3.6M.

What particularly thrilled my friend was that he’d be able to make some serious money and he would be his own boss – underwater welders have annual salaries ranging between $100K and $200K and they work on a project by project basis. One of the reasons why I recommended this profession to my friend was because its demand would never run out as long as the seas were used for trade and transit, and there was a demand for oil. He was just 28 years old so he would have no trouble in taking his career further and becoming an engineer or an instructor or even a diving supervisor!

One day when I was vacuuming the home office, I realized how awesome the technology is that makes up a vacuum cleaner. Since I didn’t have much knowledge on this specific technology, I decided to write this post (it’s the engineer in me).

A vacuum cleaner makes the process of cleaning up easy and simple. It comes with unique advanced components and filters, which make it a tool that can be used both at home and the work place. Some vacuum cleaners have the capacity to shampoo and wash carpets. This eliminates the greater human involvement in the cleaning process. Vacuums come in different types. It is the unique and special features that help transform your dirty space into a clean, fresh haven. Please note that I was able to get the information for this post from JD Cleaners. They were nice enough to describe the common types of vacuum technology to me over the phone.

The basics of a cleaning vacuum technology that are available in the public market are:

The Stick vacuums

Stick vacuums are economical and easy to store. These types of vacuums are great at removing loose surface dust, dirt, crumbs and other small particles from hard surfaces and low-level carpets. Stick vacuums come in both cordless and standard plug-in models. The fact that it is optimized to clean certain surfaces makes it the best tool that you can use to reach places like corners and crevices.

The Upright vacuums

There are two major types of upright vacuums. The first is the bagless upright cleaner and the second is the bagged upright cleaner. The bagged vacuum cleaners use bags as a filter to trap dirt. They have a full bag indicator to help the users remember to change the bag. As for the bagless models, they use a series of filters to trap dirt in a dust cup while allowing air to pass through the machine. Nevertheless, they are sometimes messy to empty. Not all upright vacuum cleaners are created equal. You may want a vacuum with a brush roll shut-off if you have hard floors. A manual pile-height adjustment many be essential if you have different carpet heights throughout your home.

The Dry/wet vacuums

Dry/wet vacuums come with a set of interchangeable brushes such as a spin scrubber or a head for grout cleaning. A wet/dry vacuum, unlike the standard vacuum, holds more dirt. It dissolves dirt and debris in the tub. The air that comes from it contains fewer contaminants compared to other standard household vacuum cleaners. They are designed not only to tackle dry dirt, but also liquids spills. It uses two bucket-like chambers that separate liquids and dry dirt. It is the versatility of the wet/dry vacuums that make them superior over standard vacuums.

The Canister vacuums

This type of vacuum allows for you to easily move to different rooms, while the stretch hose allows you to clean hard-to-reach areas. The power head turbine of the vacuum rotates the brushes which lift the carpet fibers, subsequently loosening the dirt, dust, and gravel from deep inside the carpet. This allows the particles to be sucked up more easily into the dust bag. The main weight in a canister vacuum comes from the canister itself.

The Ash vacuums

They are specially fitted with heat-resistant parts and metal housing, which ensure safe cleaning. Ash vacuums are mostly used to clean warm and cool ashes out of fireplaces, barbecue grills, pellet stoves, and wood stoves.

The bow and arrow dates back to ancient times, with one of the oldest going back to 9000 BCE in Denmark.  It was a very basic weapon generally made of wood, with two limbs connected by a bow string, and joined by a riser.  The objective was to pull back on the string which put pressure on the belly of the limbs. The belly was the direction in which the string faced.  At the same time this put pressure on the back of the bow, creating tension.  Holding the string back resulted in stored energy which was released when the arrow was let go.  It was a powerful system that has gone through much evolution since first being developed.

In 1966, a man named Holless Wilbur Allen created a new type of bow called a compound bow.  The bow has a central mount called the riser.  The riser is very sturdy and designed to hold the stabilizers, quivers, limbs and sights.  This invention came out of his frustration at deer being able to avoid his slow hunting arrows.  His objective was to increase the speed.  While looking at his pulley bow one evening, he came up with the idea to position the pivot hole on the pulley, off-center.  It resulted in a much faster arrow speed.

As technology has evolved, so has the compound bow.  Today an advanced system of pulleys and cables make up this powerful bow.  It has come a long way from that first bow which was a crude creation mostly made of wood and fiberglass.  The riser is mostly made of magnesium or aluminum.  All of the energy is stored in the limbs which are made of composite material.  There is usually a wheel or cam on the end of each limb.  The cams are used to keep energy in the limbs.  The four most popular cams are hybrid cam, dual cam, single cam and binary cam. The compound bow today is known for superior speed, accuracy and distance.

The crossbow is another bow that has been in existence for centuries.  It has often been considered one of the deadliest projectile weapons in existence. This bow uses a string to launch arrows and has a stock and trigger.  It looks like a rifle and bow. Similar to a rifle, the trigger releases the string that is cocked.  Early crossbows were made of wood and the string was pulled back by hand.  The feet were usually placed in a stirrup which was on the front of the bow or both feet were placed on the bow to get leverage.  Also a windlass (winding pulley machine) was used to pull heavy crossbows.

Today most crossbows are made of steel and have features like integrated scope mounts, X-cam technology, and adjustable limb retention systems.  They are used more for archery and hunting instead of warfare as in ancient days. These crossbows are much more lightweight and accurate.  This technology stores a lot more energy and delivers it more efficiently, provides a smoother draw cycle, and makes limb adjustment effortless, enabling you to customize your draw weight.  Crossbows today are also designed more compactly for easier transport.

Technology is normally associated with the latest gadget, phone or concept car, but in reality, technology is a big part of everything around us. In this article I want to take a closer look at technology in our shoes and what to expect in the next few years.

Powerlace

When I was a kid my favorite movie trilogy was “Back to the Future.” Last year I was overjoyed to discover that Nike had decided to start producing the futuristic shoe, which it called “Nike MAG,” inspired by the movies. Unfortunately even though the shoes looked the same as the pair worn by Michael J. Fox in the movie, they didn’t auto lace!

Nike has now said they do intend to release the next edition with auto laces in 2015, but another company seems to be one step ahead (if they get funding).

The company “Powerlace” has a working model (seven years in production) and judging by the video it looks impressive. The shoe has no batteries, no gears and no breaking parts. The design is simple when you step into the shoe — the heel is pushed down, and this activates a lace locking system. When you need to remove the shoe there is a small lever at the back to enforce the release.

Considering how long the team has been working on this project and the dedication it has taken to even have a working prototype, I sure do hope they raise the additional money required to take the product into production. You can check out the full video by clicking here.

Hyperfuse

Basketball is huge in China! There are over 300 million people estimated to be playing the game on a daily basis. When Nike sent a team of researches into China they were surprised to find the kids playing the game wearing a pair of running shoes or some form of hiking boot!

Hyperfuse technology is now used in a number of Nike shoes, but it was originally designed to give the Chinese basketball community a light and strong high-top shoe. As with all sport shoes, the biggest weak spot is the stitching, so Nike designed the Hyperfuse material that reduces stitching to a minimum.

Hyperfuse is made from layers of thin plastic material hot-melted together, creating a complete unit instead of the traditional fabric materials requiring a stitching process.

3D Printing

When people talk about 3D printing we automatically think of a future process not yet available to the public unless you are willing to spend a large amount of money on a 3D printing machine.

In reality, 3D printing has been a part of our lives for a number of years, but unless you work within the industry, you probably didn’t notice.

3D printing has started to replace the entire stitching process for sports shoes. If you look closely at any high-end cross training shoe you will notice thin strips of plastic and no stitching. If you didn’t know any better you would automatically think it was just part of the shoe’s design, but in fact these strips are holding the shoe together.